Yesterday on The View, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set after Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly slammed the Park 51 proposal because “Muslims killed us on 9/11!” The Fox News network quickly came to his defense, with Fox contributor Andrea Tantaros assuring Fox News host Megyn Kelly that “O’Reilly came on the show armed with facts. He came from a position of strength, he had numbers to back it up.”
This morning, Fox and Friends Brian Kilmeade criticized Goldberg and Behar for not being able to handle “a debate on training wheels.” As if to offer a serious defense of O’Reilly’s “facts,” Kilmeade stated that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims”:
KILMEADE: That debate is almost like our debate on training wheels. That was our debate seven weeks ago. And they can’t handle the give and take of the debate. They were outraged that someone was saying that there was a reason there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11. It wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.
If Kilmeade took off his news “training wheels,” he’d know that some of the most notorious terrorists like the Tamil Tigers, who “invented” suicide bombing, the Irish Republican Army, and the Lord’s Resistance Army are not Muslim. In fact, the U.S’s recent domestic terrorists like the Unabomber, Timothy McVeigh, the Hutaree militia, John Patrick Bedell, Joe Stack, Jerry Kane Jr., and white supremacist James von Brunn were also not Muslim. California gunman Byron Williams, who tried to “start a revolution” in July, was actually inspired by Fox News pundit Glenn Beck, not Islam. Overall, according to the National Counterterrorism Center, non-Muslims account for 16,868 recorded incidents of terrorism, 967 less than Islamic extremists.
Fox host Geraldo Rivera tried to point this out. In reaction to Kilmeade, Rivera noted that when people talk about the “abortion bombers,” “they don’t say Christians blew up the abortion clinic. They say crazy people or extremists did it. You can’t…and that’s part of the noise that is causing Muslim Americans to feel besieged and beleaguered and being singled out.” But Kilmeade scoffed at the comparison.
As Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen notes, such a remark would “ideally” be a “Rick Sanchez moment” for Kilmeade, referring to the CNN hosts disparaging remark about Jewish people. But “that’s probably unlikely, since it’s Fox News and this kind of talk is painfully common.” (HT: Political Animal)